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ToeJam & Earl’s Super Funky Telethon Broadcasting on May 26th, 2019

Let's get funky

SAN FRANCISCO – May 13, 2019 – ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove!, the newly-released fourth entry of the beloved, funkadelic action roguelike series from HumaNature Studios, brings the funk back with their live ToeJam & Earl’s Super Funky Telethon on May 26.

Awesome sponsors including Attack Media, Limited Run Games, Corptron (Creators of Duck Game), G-Fuel and Corn Nuts are making this possible and providing great prizes. Be sure to tune in for some exciting announcements from HumaNature, including dates for the 4-player co-op console update, the upcoming endless mode, and the future of the series.

Prepare for four hours of groovy nostalgia with special hosts including ‘90s heroes Macaulay Culkin (Executive Producer of Back in the Groove!) and Freddie Prinze Jr.. Super streamer Sonja Reid (aka OMGItsFirefoxx) and Genieve Goings (host of Disney’s Choo Choo Soul) bring their charm and will keep the show from being a funky boy’s club. Call the hotline for a chance to talk to the hosts, win dope prizes or even participate in one of the many wacky surprises planned for the day.

The event will be set in three different areas. First, the Game Zone, a retrowave ‘90s living room complete with neon lights, a ginormous funkometer that tracks the progress of the event, and giant screens for the cool kids to chill out with some games. Call celebs at the Planet Pitch & Phone Zone and watch them respond. The Stunt Zone is where all the really weird stuff is going down. Hint: we’re talking a swimming pool of Corn Nuts, a G-Fuel Dunk Tank, and something involving live ducks…

As the funkometer rises, guests will have to suffer enjoy increasingly bizarre experiments and stunts. Get ready to watch the guests try outbizarre ‘90s snack combinations in a game of Dunkawhos. Did somebody say Flamin’ Hot Cheetos dipped in fudge? That was probably Earl. Dude’ll eat anything.

“Big news like Toejam & Earl’s multiplayer and endless mode updates deserve equally big ways to announce,” said Greg Johnson, founder of Humanature Studios. “So with help from our Executive Producer Macaulay Culkin, we thought hey, why not with a 4-hour live show full of celebs, games, and surprises?”

ToeJam & Earl’s Super Funky Telethon will be live from Van Nuys on Mixer, YouTube and Twitch on May 26 from 12 pm to 4 pm PST and 3 pm to 7 pm EST.

To learn more, please visit ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove official site, follow it on Twitter @ToeJamAndEarl and official Facebook page.

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove's upcoming 1.4.0 update detailed

Groovy!

Sometime in the near future, Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove will be updated to Version 1.4.0. While we wait for that update to drop, the dev team has shared a bunch of details on what it'll include. Check out the rundown below.

So now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for: version 1.4.0. Well what exactly is it? OUT WITH IT!! Fine, we will tell you, stop poking us with that stick. Version 1.4.0 is shaping up to be the definitive Back in the Groove experience, especially for console players. With this update we will be introducing 3-4 player local play on all versions of the game. They said it couldn’t be done, but just like getting split screen to work with the original ToeJam & Earl, we were determined to make it happen.

In order to get this to work we unfortunately had to limit the amount of distance between players if they fall a level. The game will now only allow players to fall 3 levels apart from other players in multiplayer. If you jump off that third level you will be transported back to the start of it, meaning players who would rather jump than take a hit still have that option. And if you guys find a present that will help you get to Level 0 you can both jump down together to visit the secret area.

1.4.0 Balance Updates

1.4.0 also comes with a ton of balance changes. We’ve been hearing that a lot of our veteran players find the game too easy if they use all the new mechanics to their intended effect. There are a ton of changes coming and most of these are in mind of making the game a little more difficult without making it too difficult for our casual players.

First up is Present changes. We are changing all Amped ‘Show X’ presents to be ‘Jump To’ presents instead of staying in your inventory. This means that instead of Amped ‘Show Wiseman’ giving you two uses, the Amped version will ‘jump you’ directly to the Wiseman. This applies to ‘Show Elevator’ as well and we have changed ‘Jump To Ship Piece’ to ‘Show Ship Piece’ with the Amped version being the current ‘Jump To Ship Piece’ present. Amped ‘Show Hidden Paths’ will reveal the Hidden Paths and reward you with an XP Boost based on our Present Skill stat. We are making these changes because players would keep the ‘Show X’ presents in their inventory the entire run hoping it would become Amped-This-Level so they could use it throughout their run infinitely. These changes will hopefully make the presents more unique and balance out the unintended behaviors they were providing.

We are also reducing the time you have ‘Icarus Wings’ for by 10 seconds in regular and Amped versions and a slight move speed decrease only on the Amped. We have been hearing from players that this present makes it too easy to clear multiple levels without touching the ground. The regular version of ‘Icarus Wings’ is now intended to get you out of sticky situations and clear gaps if you get stranded on an island. The Amped version is now intended to be the present you use if you want to clear out a level or two.

Another change regarding ‘Icarus Wings’ is that Backer Islands will no longer always have free Icarus Wings on them, they will have a random mobility present such as Hi-Tops, Spring Shoes, Rocket Skates, Timed Teleport, etc. This change is to make it so players don’t just land on the island to collect the free wings then safely fly through the rest of the game. The present was only there in order to help get you off the island when you visit the Backer. But hopefully these new presents will help you out.

We know the Football Player has been the cause of numerous frustrating deaths. This Earthling will now do a reduced damage but knock you really far to make him more unique and less frustrating to deal with.

These are just a few of the balance changes we have coming up and we have many more we are excited to share with you. We will be closely monitoring these changes and eager to hear any feedback you may have.

Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove's upcoming Version 1.3 update detailed

Jammin' on the update

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is a ton of fun to play, but it still has quite a few nasty bugs. We're talking about game-crashing issues, which no one wants to deal with. Thankfully the next patch is in the works, and will be launching soon. Check out details on Version 1.3.0 below.

The first big update in V1.3.0 is that Steam users who backed the game on Kickstarter will be able to unlock Peabo Remix and Lamont Surprise! We are working on adding these to consoles at a later date - these are fun little cosmetic additions we hope our backers enjoy! Check your emails if you bought those tiers or higher, as you’ll be getting a code to unlock the DLC through Steam.

Looking at our Canny, which you can find at: https://tjande.canny.io , we saw the most requested change was to improve the way Tomatoes and Slingshot are firing. Well, we did that! We think the new system works much better, but we want your feedback -- Once 1.3.0 rolls out be sure to let us know what you think of the new controls so we can get this absolutely jammin’!

We’re really excited to announce a brand new language option - European Spanish. Yep!

In our recent Switch update you may have noticed a few optimizations in the way the game loads and now handles, we hope you’ve been enjoying these changes but rest assured we’re not done yet. We’re going to continue to work on framerate on Switch until it gets to a really good place… perhaps even good enough for 4 player local in the future??

A big bug we fixed was that console local co-op game maps should no longer be broken with ‘Level 0’ stuck on top and no tiles being revealed.

That’s all for now! Huh.. there’s more? Oh yeah… are you ready… to speed up… a certain character’s… dialogue… on a hidden level? Well without spoiling it for those of you who haven’t found it, we’re going to be decreasing the speech bubbles for this character so the end game won’t go into super overtime.

We got a bunch of smaller things coming in, updates to the credits with some names we missed, fixes to the manual (if you see any more typos let us know, PLEASE!), fixes to the way achievements and the game title are displayed on console, updating the achievement text in German for PS4 and Xbox One, not being able to start a game on Toddler/Easy Farty on the PC version, a nerf to the secret Golden “Funky” Mailbox, disable presents being opened in the Hot Tub which was causing some issues, lowered a few sounds that were too loud, and reduced the rumble on the Switch version.

*phew* Well that should be all for the upcoming patch.

Be sure to let us know what you think about it once it rolls out! After that, we’ll begin working on v1.4!

Toejam & Earl designer on being happy with giving players nostalgic experiences

Being back in the groove feels so good

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is out now on Switch, and I couldn't be happier. I've always been a HUGE fan of the original ToeJam & Earl game. It's something truly magical, and a wholly unique co-op experience. Subsequent entries in the series weren't bad, but they lacked a certain charm and magic the original had in spades. ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is the first game in the series to recapture that magic and build on it.

ToeJam & Earl designer Greg Johnson is more than happy to give fans a way to get back to that classic vibe. In an interview with Gamasutra, Johnson explains that he finds evoking nostalgic feelings is something to be proud of.

I always find the comment amusing that “all it brings is nostalgia.” What makes people nostalgic are wonderful memories. No one gets nostalgic over things they don’t care about. “OMG!! That’s that game I loved when I was a kid! I played it with my parents or my brother and sister and remember staying up late and laughing our a%#es off!” That’s nostalgia. If that’s all this “game brings,” then I think I’m pretty darned happy to help people relive that and share it with a new generation of people they care about.

For people who have no connection with this and don’t understand why others have such fond memories of it--well, fine. No worries. But respect the love others have for something. Or maybe just go see The Grinch who Stole Christmas. I think that might be the movie for you.

Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove getting Version 1.2.3 update tomorrow

Big Earl bumpin bugs

There are quite a number of bugs in ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove, which HumaNature Studios acknowledged from the get-go. They said a patch was in the works, and it would launch soon. Loosk like they were telling hte truth, as Version 1.2.3 is set to hit Switch tomorrow! Patch notes haven't been released, but the dev team says this update includes, "Lots of fixes and fun!"

Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove sees 40% of its sales on Switch, beating out every other platform (patch news and more)

Jammin!

I always knew Nintendo fans had great taste! The ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove Kickstarter has updated with a bunch of new info, including sales data. We now know that 20 days after launch, ToeJam and Earl: BitG has sold the most on Switch! The game has moved over 25k units, accounting for around 40% of total sales.

You can get full sales data, as well as a look at what's ahead for the game in the Kickstarter snippet below.

As of right now, we can only give general sales data, but we can say that physical and digital combined, we’re at over 25,000 units sold on Switch,12,000 on steam and PS4 each, and around 5,500 on Xbox, for a total of around 53,500 units sold between presales and launch. So far so good!

As we’ve mentioned before, we need to sell around 150,000 lifetime to break even as we do have money that needs to get paid back (this game was in development for a long time!), so we have a little way to go, but that’s a great start and we think if we can keep momentum rocking, we can do this!

Platform Availability of Updates
As of writing, here is where the current platforms are with build numbers -- we’re trying to keep things as in parity as possible, but some certification processes take longer than normal

PS4 -- 1.2.3
Switch -- 1.1.2 (with 1.2.3 in cert)
Steam - 1.2.2 (working on 1.2.3)
Xbox One -- 1.2.2 (working on 1.2.3)

Lamont/Peabo Surprise

So we’ve been pretty tight lipped about Peabo and Lamont stuff but we’re finally ready to reveal what these two bad boys are! First, Peabo’s Surprise is the ability to dance on command! You activate this by the Quick Chat menu and select ‘Dance’. When this happens all the trees and bushes around you will dance as well (similar to what happens when you open a Boom Box). We can’t wait to see y’all bust some funky moves in front of the Wiseman after you just went on a popping spree with the Slingshot!

And now for the Funkopotamus himself - Lamont’s Surprise! This is a super cool Lamont costume head piece that all the Funkotronians can wear! While wearing the Lamont head you will also get some special dialogue that unlocks while wearing it. This functions similarly to ‘Earthling Disguise’ where you can still wear your Power Hats under it. Can you fool those silly Earthlings into thinking that the great Funkopotamus is chillin’ on Earth?

We are aware that some of these may be sought after by those of you who didn’t back to unlock them. We are considering giving these rewards away to contest winners and outstanding/active members of the community. Stay tuned for more info on that!

Road Map

Willie hears ya, and Willie DOES care. We love all the feedback and bug reports that have been coming in, KEEP IT UP! If you spot something that doesn’t feel right feel free to shoot us an email at bugs@humanaturestudios.com and we will do our best to address it. We also have a Canny set up over at: https://tjande.canny.io/ where you guys can upvote the most common bugs or most requested features and those will be the ones we prioritize. Also - as always feel free to join our Discord and discuss these feedback and bugs reports here: https://discord.gg/4TuKvgT

Also you may have noticed we rolled an update out on Steam that was causing some crashes. We apologize for any inconvenience this caused and we worked quickly at reverting it to the previous version. This was because a Unity update caused some wonkiness in our build and Dark Levels were crashing for a high number of players. Going forward we are considering adding an Update Test Branch to Steam so we can test updates a bit before rolling them out to everyone.

Aside from fixing the Dark Levels, we have many other fixes we are looking into. Such as a number of issues on Switch where players are experiencing crashes when using the Elevator online, inconsistencies when loading previous saves, and increasing the performance in split screen multiplayer.

We are also considering limiting how far players can actually fall down levels in multiplayer so that there will be less stability issues across the board. By making it so that players can’t fall more than 1 or 2 levels, there will be less levels loading in and should result in an increase in framerate. Let us know what you think about this idea in the comments.

There are a number of manual fixes coming as well, but if you see a typo or anything wrong be sure to let us know so we can get this thing perfect for y’all before we print it for our physical collectors.

There are also some smaller (although very frustrating) fixes coming like the map not working in multiplayer by always showing ‘Level 0’ and no tiles being revealed. Problems with Swap Bodies and the Secret Level causing sounds to disappear. If there is anything you think should be given priority be sure to mention it in the bugs@humanaturestudios.com email or the Canny/Discord links mentioned above. We’re gonna do our best to make this game perfect for you, thanks for your patience on this journey.

Check out the full update here

IGN Video - Funkin' Around in ToeJam and Earl: Back In The Groove

Those groovy unofficial SEGA mascots from the 90s are back on Nintendo Switch, so we played some co-op!

Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove seeing Switch release in Japan

Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove just recently launched in North America and Europe, but, what about our friends in Japan? We're happy to report that Kakehashi Games is going to be handling localization duties for the title. Unfortunately there's no release date, but Kakehashi Games did say they'll be releasing it sometime within the next few months.

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove dev team talks DLC interest, bringing the duo back, 4-player local multiplayer, potential sequels, and more

After quite a long development period, ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is finally out! To celebrate the momentous occasion, the ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove dev team took to Reddit to answer some questions from fans. Check out a summary of the questions below.

On a sequel in the style of ToeJam & Earl: Panic on Funkotron

I would love to! Lots of fans have asked for this. It just depends on how successful this one is. IT would be a total blast to do another side-scroller type like that. I would love to go back to Funkotron, and maybe lots of other planets. I actually have a whole story already planned for that one.

Adding 4-player to consoles

We hope to be able to add 4 player local play to all consoles if this game sells enough to give us more dev time. For now you can play 4 player via network so hopefully that will hold you over for awhile. We have more optimizing to do to get it to run on consoles with 4 player local play.

DLC plans

Planning... well hoping is more accurate. It depends on if this game makes enough for us to keep going. We have lots of ideas about what we want to do. Here's hoping we get the chance.

On the potential for another 3D entry in the series

I doubt it, but never say never right? There are lots of new cool non-photo-real rendering techniques these days that make 3D look like not-3D. I could see doing something like that perhaps. Maybe a VR TJ&E?

Macaulay Culkin getting involved

It was actually through AMA. Macaulay posted that photo of himself playing on the night of the Grammys and I reached out to him after that. Then he and his brother Keiran and good friend Stew came up to our office for a 3-day marathon toejam play session. It was a blast. All 3 of those guys are pretty crazy and pretty into TJ&E.

It was beyond exciting to meet him. Of course, he is an icon both from Home Alone and now from Bunny Ears, but more than that he is just a really fun crazy guy. He says whatever pops into his mind and his mind is a fascinating place. I love that guy and hope I get to hang with him some more. When he is with his brother and friend Stew they are like a total comedy act. Far as what he contributed to the game - we got lots of feedback about presents and Earthlings and game balance from him and his crew. Lots of Multi-player feedback especially. They actually knew game one better than I did sometimes. We also added a special powerhat based on Macaulay.

The DS pitch that never got off the ground

We never got as far as "working on it". It was just a pitch to try and get funding, Never got off the ground. It was before the 3DS though. Pretty sure it was just for the DS. We had some fun ideas about how to use the 2 screens.

On why TJ&E came back

It seemed like the right time. I have been wanting to see them come back for decades... and KickStarter seemed like it would finally make that possible. Other games? LIke Panic or Mission to Earth? Maybe Panic - we'll see. Depends on how well this one does I think. We just launched this rocket - gotta see if it gets into orbit or not.

ToeJam & Earl co-creator talks about the challenge of building a sequel

Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove is finally available, after years and years of development. Many fans view this outing as the first true sequel to the original game back in Oct. 1991. Yes, there were Genesis and Xbox sequels, but many fans felt those entries just strayed too far from what made the first game great. In an interview with NWR, HumaNature’s Greg Johnson discusses what makes it so tough to create a good sequel.

“Building a sequel to a beloved franchise is actually a tricky thing. You need to walk a line, as players want fresh new features, but they also want it to feel very true to the original gaming experience. We did add quite a lot to this game, but it will really be up to the old ‘skool’ fans to let us know how we did walking that line."

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